Hard times come again once more: The union-affiliated Keystone Research Center's 2012 "State of Working Pennsylvania" report is out, and the news is grim. "Over the last ... decade, from 2000 to 2010, for example, median four-person family income in Pennsylvania declined by $6,100 from its 2000 peak (of $82,818). During the short economic expansion from 2002 to the end of 2007, the top 1% of Pennsylvania taxpayers captured 54% of ALL income growth in Pennsylvania." And you can expect more of the same, says the KRC.
Could Asian Americans be the overlooked casualties of the state's Voter ID bill?
Protesters continue to denounce Gov. Tom Corbett's elimination of a program for the state's poor. (TRIGGER WARNING: The comments section of this story is likely to lead to elevated blood pressure and pupil dilation).
But let's not forget who the real victims are: Steelers stand-out Franco Harris is on a one-man crusade to soften the blow of sanctions against Penn State, his alma mater. Gee, if only there were some more vital cause to fight for ... some pressing event coming up in the next couple months, an event whose outcome might affect the future of the country. If only there were some way to advocate for a cause that might affect the very lives of students currently at Penn State, rather than he bragging rights of people who attended decades ago ... Well, never mind.
Attention social-media users: You might want to take a quick look at state House Bill 2249, which makes it a crime to impersonate someone else online. Does that mean parody Twitter accounts and the like could be affected? Backers of the bill say no; the crime specifies that impersonation is a crime if there's an intent to "deceive, harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten any person." But the ACLU has concerns, stemming from the fact that words like "harm" can be squishy. Keep your eye out.
Bonus read: Set aside some time for Matt Taibbi's takedown of Mitt Romney in Rolling Stone. I wouldn't say there's a ton of new reporting here, but as with a lot of Taibbi's work, while it doesn't break new ground, it is a harrowing look at the political and economic landscape. If you didn't realize what was at stake in this election before -- the mutation of the American economy into a Wall Street pachinko game -- you will now.